Let me set the record straight

Nik Storonsky

 · 03/01/2019  · 03/01/2019

This week, there's been some misleading information in the media relating to our compliance function. Compliance is, and always has been, a key priority for the company, so I wanted to address these accusations head-on and set the record straight.

What actually happened

In July last year, we rolled out a more advanced sanctions screening system in parallel with our existing controls. Like any other technology company, we're always looking to improve our systems.

In a nutshell, screening systems are designed to scan inbound and outbound transfers to make sure we do not execute payments to sanctioned individuals and entities.

During the initial testing stage of these new systems, we decided that they were not calibrated to a standard that we would expect, so we therefore decided to temporarily revert to our existing controls, while we continued to enhance the new systems. In our view, the new systems were imprecise and were resulting in too many false positive cases, which in turn resulted in an increase in customer dissatisfaction.

This roll-out did not result in a money-laundering breach

At no point during this time did we fail to meet our legal or regulatory requirements. We conducted a thorough review of all transactions that were processed during this time, which confirmed that there were no breaches. Unfortunately, this fact was not included in the original news story. This roll-out did not result in a breach of any sanctions or money laundering laws and requirements - so we did not send a formal notification to the regulator.

And finally. Thank you, Peter

Yesterday, it was reported that my friend, Peter O'Higgins, would be stepping down as our Chief Financial Officer after three years at the helm. During his time with us, Peter has scaled our operations and expanded our team from 20 to over 800 people.

Unfortunately, the news of Peter's decision to resign was caught up in the above recent media coverage on our compliance enhancement roll-out. Any suggestion that Peter's resignation is in any way, shape or form connected to this roll-out is utterly false and damaging. Peter has since expressed to me that he has been hurt by this suggestion and sad that his departure has been tainted in this way.

In reality, Peter has decided to step down on the basis that he feels that the business will require someone with global retail banking experience as we prepare to apply to become a licensed bank in multiple jurisdictions.

While myself and the wider team will be sad to see Peter go, we all respect Peter's decision to step down. I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Peter for his commitment, enthusiasm and accomplishments over these last three years.